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Frank Forbes


Posted By: Gordon Felland (email)
Date: 9/9/2015 at 16:58:26

County surveyor Frank Forbes was born in Conway, Mass. on the 31st day of December 1853. In 1856 his parents emigrated westward and settled on a farm m Mitchell county, Iowa. The subject of this sketch was the second of nine children and he was obliged to work hard to assist in the rearing of this large family. He supplemented his meager school course by a rigid system of self tuition and at the age of seventeen he was fully equipped to enter the profession of teaching, which he followed the most of the time for a period of more than ten years.

While teaching school he began the study of law and soon after entered the office of Brown & Wright, of Osage, where he completed his course in 1883 and was admitted to the bar. The same year he opened an office in St. Ansgar. where he continued to practice for three years. In 1886 he accepted a position as district manager for a large harvester company. In 1888 he resigned his position and removed to Northwood, becoming the junior member of the firm of Collin & Forbes. After a period of 15 1/2, years this partnership was dissolved, since which time Mr. Forbes has practiced alone.

Mr. Forbes is a staunch republican and he has had a varied official career. In 1896 he was appointed county attorney by the board of supervisors. In 1900 he was chosen Mayor of Northwood, a position which he held for two years. For the past four years he has been justice of the peace, a position which he still holds. In 1905 he was appointed county surveyor and entered upon the duties of the office with such zest that at the general election of 1907 he was unanimously chosen to succeed himself. In April 1907 he was selected by the supervisors of Cerro Gordo county as assistant surveyor of that county. Since the enactment of the drainage laws the office of surveyor is becoming daily more important. It is not too much to say that Mr. Forbes has already demonstrated that he will be one of the most capable surveyors that Worth county has ever had. Besides his political honors Mr. Forbes has been accorded recognition in the Odd Fellow lodge of which he is an enthusiastic member. He has served three terms as Noble Grand of the local chapter and he is at present Past Grand.

Mr. Forbes comes of a line of distinguished ancestry. His paternal grandfather. Abner Forbes, was a member of the first anti-slavery society known throughout the world as the immortal twelve. Abner Forbes was an intimate friend of Wendell Phillips, the threat emancipator. The mother of the subject of our sketch was Eliza Field, a cousin of Marshall Field, the late Chicago merchant king. His father. Charles H. Forbes, died in 1893 and his mother in 1889.

On the 30th day of September, 1883 Mr. Forles was joined in marriage at Osage, Iowa to Miss Genevieve Talcott of that city, who traveled with him on life's jour­ney until June 15th, 1904, when she was called to the great beyond. Three children were born to this union, all of whom are now living. Walter is now city editor of the Waterloo Daily Times-Tribune. Miss Roba now acts as housekeeper for her father and Field is pursuing his studies in our city schools.

Mr. Forbes is a Universalist and is prominently recog­nized iu that body, being a member of the executive board of the Iowa Universalist convention. He also holds a license to preach and frequently makes use of this priv­ilege. Perhaps the most marked characteristic of the man is the antipathy which he has ever displayed toward the sale of intoxicating litjuor. While his decided stand on this question has lessened his popularity with certain elements, it has strengthened the affection of his admirers and no man more completely enjoys the respect of the community than does Frank Forbes.

Source: The Semi-centennial of Northwood, Iowa,1907, page 25.


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